WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Police in Webster Groves are warning residents that car thefts and burglaries are on the rise.

A car thief was captured on home surveillance video casually walking into the backyard of a Webster Groves home around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. He’s able to get into the garage before driving off.

It’s a crime that took less than five minutes to commit.

The homeowner told News 4 he was asleep at the time.

Webster Groves police said thefts like this have been happening more frequently in this area.

News 4 reported in November that police suspect a group of car burglars is making its way from Jefferson County into St. Louis County.

A Jefferson County homeowner even exchanged gunfire with burglars in October.

This summer a Maryland Heights officer was shot when he tried to stop a burglar from breaking into cars at an apartment complex on Gallery Drive.

"These guys don't want to get caught and are using every measure possible," said Kirkwood Officer Gary Baldridge.

And a Kirkwood resident reported to police he spotted someone breaking into his car as he returned home from work. He told police when he started following the burglar he was shot at.

Police encourage car owners to not confront these burglars because of the pattern of thieves shooting at their victims.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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